With her Gaslight Mysteries, Edgar Award finalist Victoria Thompson colorfully evokes the crowded, lamp-lit world of turn-of-the century New York City. In this 12th entry, philosophical conflicts within the deaf community reap a tragic harvest. After Nehemiah Wooten, a polarizing figure among the hearing impaired, turns up dead, NYPD Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy begins to investigate. While interviewing Nehemiah's wife Valora, he's surprised when the not-so-grieving widow—hiding a secret pregnancy—goes into labor. Summoning his midwife friend Sarah Brandt, Frank learns from her of the eugenics views that kept Nehemiah from Valora's bed ever since the birth of their deaf daughter Electra—now suspiciously joyful at her dad's death. As more information comes to light, Frank and Sarah must ferret out the killer from a growing list of suspects. In this revealing portrait of a bygone day, Suzanne Toren's splendid narration brilliantly distinguishes each character and helps build tension through the novel's stunning conclusion.
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